Pressure canners are not that diffuclt to maintain and care for. Here's how in straightworward steps.
And if you've lost your canner's manual, see this page for free replacement manuals which you can download and print. Also see this page for many recipes and directions to make many foods to pressure can! If you are looking to possibly purchase a pressure canner, see this page for our recommendations, prices and where to buy them.
This page has a Pressure canner buying guide.
Dial Gauge or Pressure weight regulator? See the photo at right. Dial type pressure canners have a dial gauge on top. Weight gage have either just a simple weight or a 3-piece regulator weight.
Only the dial gauges require any maintenance. each year, they should be tested to see if they are reading the pressure accurately.
You should have the gauge inspected if the cover has been submerged in water or dropped, gauge glass is broken or has fallen out, parts are rusty, pointer is not in the "0" block, or if you believe the gauge may not be accurate. If your dial gauge reads high or low by more than 2 pounds when tested at 11 pounds of pressure, it should be replaced. If the reading is off by less than 2 pounds, follow the recommendation of the person testing your canner (see “Dial Gauge Inspection and Accuracy,” page 13). Low readings cause overprocessing. If a gauge is reading lower than it should, you can make adjustments to avoid overprocessing, but they are not essential to safety. Gauges that read high cause underprocessing and may result in unsafe food. Every pound of pressure is necessary to reach the canner temperature needed for producing safe food. Accurate gauges and adjustments to processing times are essential when a gauge reads higher than it should.
Gauges may be checked at many county extension offices; contact the pressure canner manufacturer for other options. See this page for a list of county extension offices. If you are unable to have your dial gauge checked locally, carefully remove the gauge and call your canner's Consumer Service Department for directions. If you've lost your canner's manual, see this page for free replacement manuals which you can download and print.
Check the sealing ring, overpressure plug, and the rubber gasket of the air vent/cover lock. Replace these parts when they become hard, deformed, cracked, worn, pitted, or unusually soft. You can uusualy order these parts online, often through Amazon. See this page for replacement parts.
That's about it
Pressure canners are very sturdy and reliable and usually last generations with only occassional replacement to the rubber parts.
See below for prices, descriptions and ordering options for pressure canners. For water bath canners and other supplies, see this page! If you have a glass top radiant stove, see Canners for glass top stoves?
For other supplies:
You can also find free information from the USDA in this PDF file (it will take a while to load!) about selecting and using canners here!
For more information, and NO obligation to buy, just click on the links in the Amazon boxes on the left!
If you want to can low-acid foods such as red meats, sea food, poultry, milk, and all fresh vegetables with the exception of most tomatoes, you will need a pressure canners. These foods fit into the low acid group since they have an acidity, or pH level, of 4.6 or greater. The temperature which must be reached and maintained (for a specified amount of time) to kill the bacteria is 240 F. Pressure canning is the only canning method recommended safe by the U.S.D.A. for low-acid foods such as vegetables, meats, and fish. Ordinary water bath canners can only reach 212 F and cannot to kill the types of bacteria that will grow in low acid foods. This temperature can be reached only by creating steam under pressure as achieved in quality pressure canners.
There are several manufacturers of pressure canners. The two leading ones are Presto and All American (Wisconsin Aluminum). They are more expensive than water bath canners, but extremely well built - I bought mine in 1988 and it still looks and works like new!
Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Cooker/Canner
This is usually about $79. (which is a GREAT price for a pressure canner). There is also a 16 quart version for about $69. Click on the links at left or above for more info and current pricing.
All American Pressure Canner and Cooker #921
|Canning all sorts of fruit and vegetables, even meat with a pressure canner it's easy. And although a pressure canner costs $100 to $200 (see this page for pressure canners models, makes and prices), they last a lifetime, and your children and grandchildren may be using it. You can also find free information from the USDA in this PDF file (it will take a while to load!) about selecting and using canners here!|
[General picking tips and a guide to each fruit and vegetable] [How much do I need to pick? (Yields - how much raw makes how much cooked or frozen)] [Selecting the right varieties to pick] [All about apple varieties - which to pick and why!] [Picking tips for Vegetables] [ Strawberry picking tips] [ Blueberries picking tips]
[ All About Home Canning, Freezing and Making Jams, Pickles, Sauces, etc. ] [FAQs - Answers to common questions and problems] [Recommended books about home canning, jam making, drying and preserving!] [Free canning publications to download and print]